Markey, Barton, Kirk, Rush, Blumenthal Reintroduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Protect Children’s Online Privacy


Do Not Track Kids Act creates an “Eraser Button” so parents and kids can delete personal information

Washington (June 11, 2015) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) with Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) today introduced the "Do Not Track Kids" Act, comprehensive children's online privacy legislation. The legislation updates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) by expanding and enhancing rules for the collection, use and disclosure of children's personal information. The legislation establishes new protections for personal information of children and teens, including extending protections to teens ages 13 to 15 by prohibiting Internet companies from collecting personal and location information from teens without their consent. The Do Not Track Kids Act also creates an “Eraser Button” so parents and children can eliminate publicly-available personal information content, when technologically feasible. One recent survey reported 92 percent of teens go online daily, including 24 percent who say they are online “almost constantly’ and 76 percent of teens use social media.      

“The Internet has fast become a child’s 21st century playground, and we need to make sure parents can keep their kids safe,”said Senator Markey, House author of COPPA. “COPPA is the communications constitution for protecting kids online, but we need to update it to reflect the explosive growth and innovation in the online ecosystem. The Do Not Track Kids Act puts parents in control of their children’s information and contains commonsense protections for teenagers. As we see everyday the implications when personal information gets hacked, I hope the least we can do is come together on a bipartisan basis to provide a privacy bill of rights for children and teens in our country.”   

“In my opinion, this bill is commonsense. It should be our duty to ensure that our future generations are adequately protected from the potential abuses online,” said Rep. Barton, co-Chair of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus. “Our world today is vastly different than when I was a kid. We did not have an Internet where companies collected personal information and created profiles, we did not have mobile devices with Internet access, and we did not have the technological ability to track my location. Unfortunately, my nine year-old son is growing up in a world that communicates primarily online with little to no choice on how big companies collect his information.

 

“While I am happy we have the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, this law is largely outdated,” added Rep. Barton.“Not only should my son be protected at the age of nine, but he should also be protected at the age of 16 with the ability to have his information delated if he chooses to. I urge my colleagues to support this bill and make it a priority in the 114th Congress. A vote for this bill is a vote for keeping our children safe online.”

 

"Every day, 9 out of 10 teens' personal info is bought and sold by online advertisers,” said Senator Kirk. a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “The Do Not Track Kids Act establishes new protections for our children and their parents so that personal information cannot be used or sold without consent.”

"Although the Internet is an incredible place for children to learn and share, it has also become a tool for trollers and trackers to target them and sell their information to advertisers," said Senator Blumenthal, ranking member of the Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance and Data Security subcommittee. "The Do Not Track Kids Act would strengthen online safeguards for children by providing new tools for oversight, including parental permission for collecting personal information and storing photos - practices rapidly becoming more rampant. I'm proud to champion this legislation with Senator Markey, and will continue to fight to ensure the privacy of children is protected."

 

“We live in a world where anyone can easily access and collect information about another person,” said Rep. Rush. a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “Building safeguards against online and mobile applications that collect individuals' information - especially when those individuals are children - is common sense legislation.  Children are most vulnerable when online and the Do Not Track Kids legislation help safeguard their privacy.”

 

A copy of the Do Not Track Kids Act can be found HERE.

 

The “Do Not Track Kids” Act strengthens privacy protections for children and teens by:

·      Prohibiting Internet companies from collecting personal and location information from anyone under 13 without parental consent and anyone 13 to 15 years old without the user's consent;

·      Requiring consent of the parent or teen prior to sending targeted advertising to children and teens;  

·      Establishing a "Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Teens" that limits the collection of personal information of teens, including geolocation information of children and teens;

·      Creating an "Eraser Button" for parents and children by requiring companies to permit users to eliminate publicly available personal information content when technologically feasible; and

·      Requiring online companies to explain the types of personal information collected, how that information is used and disclosed, and the policies for collection of personal information.

 

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